Vincent Laforet discusses the bridging step from silver particles to zeros and ones.

I love film.

Most of us love film.

In fact when I told my father I wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a photographer (my father was a photographer for Gamma Press, and then the Director of Photography and principle photographer for Premiere Magazine in France)  more than 22 years ago – he was so against the idea, that he sent me to the 3 consecutive darkrooms over 3 summers, to try to dissuade me from my career choice…

The first summer was spent in a black and white darkroom with one of the top french master printers, named Guy Ben… the next summer was C-41 and C-41 printing… the last was at an E-6 lab, where I learned to process the film, and also Cibachrome printing… after 3 summers, he finally gave me his blessing because his efforts to dissuade me had failed…

These days, I hate to say it, but I do get frustrated when I see the Kodak ads in film trade publications.  Not because I think they are wrong or irrelevant.  But because I feel like they’re not only losing sight of the bigger picture (and the inevitable realities) but also ignoring the potential of what is truly out there…

There is no arguing that film gives you an incredible image that in most cases far exceeds what can be accomplished with a digital sensor (notably when it comes to highlight retention… However – when you look into the shadows, or into high ISO cinematography… it’s hard to argue against digital cinema cameras.)

At the end of the day however, I get frustrated for the following reason:  there is no arguing that film has a unique quality.  One that in some ways CAN’T be matched by most digital sensors TODAY.

BUT – I am absolutely convinced that in the coming years, that will all change.   I am convinced that digital sensors will come to exceed the dynamic range of celluloid in time… and that it is in every DP’s interest to focus on learning how to best master the emerging (and future) technology (namely digital sensors) – as opposed to fighting what I consider to be a lost battle, in trying to clench onto their (completely justifiable) love of film.

Vincent Laforet | Read the Full Article

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